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Do You Have What it Takes to be a Freelancer? | Freelance Sprout | Find, Start, and Grow Your Dream Freelance Business
Read the six part series on creating a freelance business plan
 

Do You Have What it Takes to be a Freelancer?

Date March 6, 2009


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By definition a freelancer or freelance worker is a “self employed person who pursues a profession without a long-term commitment to any particular employer”.  There are numerous fields in which a person can be a freelance worker however you will find a higher concentration of this type of person in the following fields:  journalism, writing, copyrighting, computer programmings, graphic design, art and consulting.  Performing work that you love and being your own boss is one of the most liberating things a person can do, but with that freedom there comes increased responsibility and the need to have perfected several habits that will keep you happy with your work and just as important-profitable.

Are you persistent?

If you want to be successful and earn a decent living you have to be persistent.  You certainly don’t want to go overboard to the point of being annoying but you cannot settle with contacting a potential client and waiting patiently for a reply.  Unless the person has come right out and denied interest in your services you will have to remember to follow up, perhaps sending samples of your work.  Everyone is in a hurry these days and it is up to you to keep yourself in the forefront of a potential clients mind.

Are you professional?

It is a grave mistake for many new freelancers to approach their business as if it isn’t a “real” business.  If you want to be taken seriously, if you want clients to see the value in your services you must maintain a professional appearance both in person and in your communications with the client.  Most freelancers love the work they do but you have to keep in mind that if you expect to be paid for your services you must treat it like the business it is, not just another hobby to pass your time.

Are you disciplined?

Working for yourself gives you a LOT of freedom that most people working for an employer don’t have.  Most freelancers have the ability to set their own hours, but that does not equate to being able to work “when you feel like it”.  When you have a client that is expecting completed work you must be able to find a way, the time and the focus to get your work completed in a timely manner.  This means you must be able to ignore the many distractions that can get you off track and submit quality work on time.

Are you able to market yourself?

You won’t be able to sell your services if no one knows who you are or what you can offer their business.  Without the benefit of a larger companies resources YOU are responsible for getting the word out there to drum up business.  Are you confident in yourself and the value of your product to successfully sell your ideas to new clients?  Are you able to handle rejection?  In order for your business to get off the ground and STAY off the ground you will have to spend time and energy networking, approaching new clients, following up with current clients and advertising yourself and your business.

Are you good at managing money?

There are many freelancers that once they are established enjoy a steady stream of income.  There are also many freelance workers that due to the nature of their particular field regularly see periods of “feast or famine” where they receive a large payment followed by a period of smaller or possibly no payments.  Unless you receive a “regular” paycheck each week you will have to be able to manage your money in a way that makes the periods of excess balance out the times when less money is coming into your business.

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Related posts:

  1. Starting Out: It’s All About the Visual
  2. Do you have realistic expectations?
  3. The Freelance Manifesto – Creating the Life you want by Choosing Less

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